tv After Words CSPAN February 8, 2014 10:55pm-11:01pm EST
governments up in arms. my experience was that whatever tensions or whatever breaks in relations they get repaired over time. intelligence services need each other. also keep in mind that some of these protests and in my experience the programs have been leaked. foreign government and foreign leaders get behind the scenes. the intelligence services are reaching out to the cia basically saying look we have to say these things publicly. it's a huge political issue but we are going to keep working together. basically don't take this too hard. it's just something we have to do. >> host: why do they do that lacks. >> guest: well i think they know they have to work with the cia or the u.s. intelligence community.
we are a source of much of the intelligence that these countries have about terrorism threats to their countries. they don't want to set off the spigot of cia information. it's not because they love the cia but because they need us. and so it's inevitable. i think the culture i don't want to say cynical but it's realistic, this too shall pass. >> when you know where the prisons are new look at those relationships were any of them permanently ruptured? on the contrary. >> guest: it's uncomfortable and it's embarrassing but i don't think any damage is permanent. >> host: can you talk for a minute, it's not in your book but you referred to it and again
you are in a perfect spot to reflect on it for all the reasons you just stated that the snowden documents and what that has revealed. there are some people that are saying you should get some kind of deal for telling the government would be released. first talk about what is your feeling about the revelations? were you surprised to learn about what the nsa was doing? >> guest: they cover such a wide swath of activity. some of what has come out publicly i wasn't surprised about it. they knew what the nsa was doing at the time. >> host: metadata in. >> guest: that wasn't a surprise and it certainly wasn't surprised about the electronic surveillance activities overseas against foreigners and foreign governments.
none of that was surprising. what was a surprise to me was the massive amount of data and information snowden had access to. i mean some of the revelations are coming out every few days in the latest revelation i never even knew that was going on. this 29-year-old sitting out a number mote outpost and why he can get the stuff that i is a chief legal officer of the cia couldn't have gotten to that when i was there. >> host: do you think it is created a worthwhile debate as we wrap up here? [laughter] >> guest: i think the debate is good on the metadata and the surveillance phone records. i think that is valuable and fruitful. i wish they had come about it in a different way. i don't think that would have
happened without the snowden disclosure but he disclosed so much else that had nothing to do with the american constitution. i think it was hugely damaging and reprehensible. >> host: do you think it's damaging because the technology cannot adapt quick enough to learn how to do things differently or what is so damaging about it? you just said that many of these countries will continue working with us. >> guest: inevitably but it will have a chilling effect for a while. there will be more for reluctance on their part to share what they have and while it's not going to be permanent what happens if there is some information about a terrorist attack and for red of her recent echoes of the political climate and in because of what snowden created that information is not passed through that is what i worry about. >> host: we are out of time and this has to be my last question.
where our government is certainly the cia needs to just assume that things are going to get out and they have been in other words secrets will not remain secret especially in this environment where we depend on the internet for i.t. to keep the secrets and they have to calibrate that an act differently? >> guest: i talked about this before. there were leaks when i joined the cia 35 weeks ago. leaks are a fact of life in the intelligence business and the u.s. community as you know. we have to just live with that and reconcile with it. they are inexorable seemingly but our national leaders and intelligence leadership have to factor in the inevitability as we are sitting here. >> host: okay, thank you so much